G-Drive 4TB Thunderbolt and USB3 hard drive in the practical test

Scope of delivery of the G-Drive hard disk

I was kindly provided with a model of the G-Drive hard drives from G-Technology. Before people say "Ah, he'll get the record and write a positive review for it": No, unfortunately I only got the record on loan. So the test was written without any interference. But to anticipate: I wouldn't defend myself if someone gave me this 4TB hard drive system. ;-)

Unboxing and scope of delivery of the G-Drive 4TB

Scope of delivery of the G-Drive hard disk

The G-Drive hard drive comes with a power supply unit, Thunderbolt and USB-3 cables.

The G-Drive hard drive arrived in one of the usual brown shipping boxes. But then there was the blue product box shown, which contains all the things that are included in the scope of delivery. That would be: the G-Drive, a power supply unit with various plug adapters for other countries, a USB3 cable and a Thunderbolt cable. If you open the box, you will find the G-Drive well padded inside, which has a housing made of solid aluminum. A number of cooling fins can even be seen under the housing, which ensure that the G-Technology plate has enough heat to dissipate.

Commissioning and connections of the G-Drive hard disk

After unpacking, I connected the hard drive to the power supply. After pressing the on / off switch, nothing happened. I already expected the worst and checked the output voltage of the power supply with the multimeter, but it came out what should come out. After the first cut, the matter was cleared up: The plate first boots up and shows its operational readiness with a blue light when it is connected to the Mac (or PC) via USB3 or Thunderbold cable.

When the G-Drive hard drive starts up, you can only hear the sound of the hard drive itself. There is no fan noise, as probably no extra noise was built into the case to avoid unnecessary background noise. In order to still be able to dissipate the heat generated, the housing is completely made of aluminum and has additional cooling fins on the underside, as you can see in the photo.

G-Drive underside

The underside of the G-Drive hard drive system ensures a good climate in the case thanks to the cooling fins.

The connections are quickly explained. In addition to the socket for the power supply unit, there are only a Thunderbolt and a USB 3 socket. There is also a separate on / off switch. The power supply is equipped with an approx. 1,5 meter long connection cable that offers enough freedom to place the power supply under the desk and the G-Drive hard drive on the desk.

G-Drive connections

On the back of the G-Drive system there is a USB-3 and a Thunderbolt port. Next to it is the socket for the power supply unit and the power switch. The connection for the theft protection can still be seen at the top left.

As expected, the hard drive was automatically mounted on the Mac immediately after booting and reports itself as "G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt" with the file system "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". On the Mac, the disk is ready to use almost immediately after unpacking and switching on.

Benchmarking and practical test of the transmission speeds

G-Technology advertises this 4TB hard drive with a whopping 165 MB / s transfer rate for reading and writing. When I got this Articles wrote about the market appearance of the hard drive, I honestly couldn't explain to myself how these speeds can be technically achieved. My current external USB3 hard drives from Toshiba and WesternDigital manage a maximum of 70 to 85 MB / s. I determine the speed with the Disk Speed ​​Test from Blackmagicdesign. My test computer is a MacBook Pro Retina mid-2012 (2,6 GHz Intel Core i7) with two Thunderbolt (version 1) ports and two USB 3 ports.

USB 3 and Thunderbolt cable

Both a USB3 and a Thunderbolt cable are included in the scope of delivery.

Results of the benchmarking tests

The values ​​in the screenshots are snapshots. I let the test run for 1-2 minutes and the rates went up or down by about 5 MB / s, but you can see a rough guide.

G-Drive hard drive directly on the Thunderbolt port:
Write: 158,8 MB / s - - - Read: 164,4 MB / s

G-Drive directly on the USB 3 port:
Write: 163,5 MB / s - - - Read: 162,0 MB / s

To compare my other two USB 3 hard drives:

  • Toshiba HDTB120EK3BA external hard drive 2TB (2,5 inch, 5400rpm, 8MB cache, USB 3.0)
  • WD My Passport Ultra - external hard drive 2TB (2,5 inch, USB 3.0)

Toshiba HD directly on the USB 3 port:
Write: 86,0 MB / s - - - Read: 85,9 MB / s

WD My Passport HD directly on the USB 3 port:
Write: 69,6 MB / s - - - Read: 72,9 MB / s

The differences are extremely remarkable. I thought I might bring the G-Drive to my knees if I used my Anker USB-3 hub (model number: AK-68UNHUB-B7UEU - more USB hubs for the Mac here ) afterwards, but the benchmarks remained relatively the same, which amazed me:

G-Drive via USB 3 hub:
Write: 164,4 MB / s - - - Read: 160,4 MB / s

I have added the corresponding screenshots of the benchmarks here again:

G-Drive to Thunderbolt

G-Drive 4TB hard drive to Thunderbolt

G-Drive to USB 3

G-Drive 4TB HD to USB 3

WD My Passport ultra 2TB to USB 3

WD My Passport ultra 2TB to USB 3

Toshiba 2TB HD to USB 3

Toshiba 2TB HD to USB 3

G-Drive on the USB 3 hub

G-Drive 4TB via USB 3 hub on the Mac

My conclusion from the test

All in all, the G-Drive hard drive system is definitely a convincing piece of technology. It definitely keeps the promised transfer rates from advertising and it also makes a very high-quality impression visually. If you take the price per GB as a basis, the system is certainly significantly more expensive than a normal external USB-3 hard drive, but you should note that the G-Drive pushes data through the bus at almost twice the speed. Anyone who needs a fast hard drive system with a lot of space is definitely well served with the external hard drive from G-Technology.

Availability and price

You can currently buy the G-Drive 4TB with Thunderbolt from Amazon, among others. There it is offered for a little more than 400 EUR. Here to the provider. When browsing and comparing prices, please make sure that there is also a model with Firewire without Thunderbolt. It looks the same, but it's cheaper than the Thunderbolt / USB3 version.

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership or at Patreon would support.


  1. Gerald Franke says:

    Hello Mr Kleinholz,
    maybe you can offer me a solution for the following problem:
    Using a G-Drive Thunderbolt 3 with 12TB of storage with an iMac (Late 2014, Intel).
    A Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter with cable is also in operation.
    Everything has been running fine since 2018, the disk is partitioned and used for backups and photos, videos, etc. After a while, switched it on again to work with it and found that it no longer worked like that.
    Hard drive icons appear on the screen, but then the iMac freezes and abruptly shuts down and restarts. Then the same game.
    If you have any idea what could be causing this, I would be very happy.

    Thank you in advance

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Gerold! Hard to say what the cause is, but I would try the following things:
      1. Reboot Mac and hard drive
      2. Use another port for the connection
      3. use another cable
      4. Try another Mac/computer
      5. see if you can get a new firmware update for the product here: https://support.g-technology.com/downloads.aspx?lang=en

      Unfortunately, the linked site has a problem with its SSL certificate, which is why a warning message appears. But since the domain looks trustworthy, I don't think you're taking a risk by ignoring the certificate in the browser and accessing the site anyway.

      I hope any of this leads to success!

      If there

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked